The Designer’s Notebook

Say it like you mean it.



It was hot in Alberta this weekend. Really hot. Likely the most important weekend in the entire year for Tim Horton’s to have Ice Capps for the world. We, like the rest of Alberta, wanted and Ice Capp on Sunday afternoon. But the first Timmies we went to offered only “the machine’s broken” and an offer to wait for an hour while it was repaired. Another Tim’s replied “well, ok, but they’re very runny.”

Promise Less, Deliver More. Your brand will thank you.

Reluctantly, since I already had 45 minutes invested in the runny Ice Capp, I ordered one. Ironically, it was totally fine–nice fluffy, frosty, tasty… just what I wanted.

So here’s the point: The marketing: a succulent, refreshing drink that turns any hot day into a day a the beach. The Reality: A mediocre slurpee that is either not available or “too runny”.

I’ve been reading a book called “Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith, and aside from some prophetic predictions in 1997 about technologies we enjoy today, it focuses on marketing service companies (90% of companies in Alberta), with a key point being “assume your service is terrible”. Why? Two reasons: It forces you to assume you need improve, and it prevents “runny ice capp” syndrome.

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We’d love to talk with you about your company and where you want to take it.